Immune Boosting Benefits of Elderberry and Goji Berry

Elderberries and Goji Berries are nutritional power houses containing high amounts of anti-oxidants, micronutrients, and minerals with an abundance of health benefits. 

Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra)

The elderberry is a dark purple berry from the European elder tree and has been used for centuries to fight infections, clear up complexions, and boost immunity. 

This is because the elderberry contains certain compounds that may have a beneficial impact on health. Many of which can be attributed to anthocyanin. This powerful antioxidant works by clearing the body of free radicals that damage cells. It also has antiviral properties that may prevent or reduce the severity of certain common infections. Moreover, elderberry also has anti-inflammatory effects, reducing pain and swelling by tempering the body’s immune response. 

One study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that participants who consumed elderberry syrup felt relief from their flu symptoms four days earlier on average than those who received a placebo. Another NLB-published study of 312 air travelers found that when those who were sick took a 900 mg elderberry extract capsule three times daily, they recovered faster and experienced less severe cold and flu symptoms.

Goji Berry (Lycium Barbarum)

The goji berry, also called the wolfberry, is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that’s native to China. In Asia, goji berries have been eaten for generations in the hope of living longer.

Goji berries contain unique compounds known as Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. Research has shown that these compounds enhance the body’s ability to resist disease. Goji’s polysaccharides have a chemical structure similar to substances found in echinacea and maitake mushrooms, herbs known for their ability to support a healthy immune system.

Both Elderberries and Goji Berries boast high levels of the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C, which helps several important cells in the immune system (such as T cells) perform their jobs.
  • Vitamin A, which helps regulate immune responses.
  • Powerful plant chemicals (phytochemicals) called flavonoids that appear to help health in many ways. For example, flavonoids may help fight inflammation and cancer.

Journal references:

Duymuş HG, Göger F, Başer KH. In vitro antioxidant properties and anthocyanin compositions of elderberry extracts. Food Chemistry. 2014 Jul 15;155:112-9. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.01.028

Krawitz C, Mraheil MA, Stein M, et al. Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B virusesBMC Compl Alt Med. 2011;11(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-16.

Tiralongo E, Wee S, Lea R. Elderberry supplementation reduces cold duration and symptoms in air-travellers: A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trialNutrients. 2016;8(4):182. doi:10.3390/nu8040182.